Holland St & College Ave Mobility Improvements

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This year, the City will be resurfacing the roadways and sidewalks of Holland Street from Davis Square to Teele Square, and of College Avenue, from Davis Square to Power House Circle. This project presents an opportunity to reconsider the surface roadway configuration and pavement markings in line with the City’s transportation goals to promote sustainable, multi-modal transportation and improve traffic safety for all users.

This year, the City will be resurfacing the roadways and sidewalks of Holland Street from Davis Square to Teele Square, and of College Avenue, from Davis Square to Power House Circle. This project presents an opportunity to reconsider the surface roadway configuration and pavement markings in line with the City’s transportation goals to promote sustainable, multi-modal transportation and improve traffic safety for all users.


Please provide your feedback to the project team on the final design:

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Pave College Ave and Holland St! They were supposed to be repaved in 2019, then 2020, then "Spring 2021", now it's late summer, and both roads have yet to be repaved. The condition is atrocious, and cycling on either road is downright dangerous due to the city's complete and longstanding total neglect of the pavement. Why does it take an act of congress to pave a road in this city?

Fred 2 months ago

I echo many of the comments that ask for better protected bike infrastructure, rather than providing valuable space on these important bike/bus/ped/wheelchair/other travel routes for safe travel, especially to vulnerable road users. Instead, it gives too much priority to parked cars.
I suggest that drop-off and metered spots be provided on side streets, as is being done in Cambridge's new protected bike lanes on Mass Ave and elsewhere.
People have continually said that they don't want to drive; rather, they say they would love to bike if it were safer or take transit if it were more reliable. This is Somerville's opportunity to enable people to be able to use those greener options.
PS Please do not build bumpouts at intersections that will preclude future bike lanes. There are other options!

Elm St. Mother 7 months ago

Please focus on improving the community path connection. It’s horrible and traffic will be increasing in just one year.

Petru sofio 7 months ago

Please do not reduce parking in an area that already has so little...

jwreilly23 9 months ago

This plan overall looks great to me and my family (Davis Sq. residents). The increased in protected bike lanes is a big win for our family, which includes young bikers. It seems like a small amount of parking is being removed, but perhaps adding another level to parking lots could offset this (the lot behind CSV?!!?). The crosswalks will also be a huge improvement.

rahulb 9 months ago

I'm writing in to support continuous protected bike lane. My primary modes of transportation in this area and the fastest, most convenient modes for me are on bicycled, then on foot, or public transit. Please prioritize the safety of all mobility users, not just space for people to drive and for people to park cars. To improve everyone's safety and improve mobility, I think it's fine to remove some parking spaces.

RainyRunner 10 months ago

I wanted to write in support of a continuous protected bike lane on both Holland and College avenue. Or at least a continuous bike lane, protected at either end. Having a bike lane that comes and goes is confusing, and challenging, and confusing leads to accidents. Beacon street has this same kind of chaos, where the bike lane changes every other block. Personally I'm quite comfortable biking around cars, but jumping in and out of traffic is scary every time. The fact that there is no bike lane between Morrison and Hall going out of Davis Square is particularly troubling, because that's right where you have to go up hill.
The presentation clearly states that there is currently unused parking, and people that do drive would rather bike, but don't because it's not currently safe; combine that with Somervision, Vision Zero and Somerville Climate Forward, and it's clear that the design should be looking forward to increase bus, bike and foot traffic, and cut back on parking

scottD 10 months ago


I wasn't able to make the meeting tonight but I wanted to write in support of a continuous protected bike lane. In general in Somerville/Cambridge/Boston the protected bike lanes are too spotty. A block here and there of protected bike lanes is better than nothing but the long term vision should be a continuous protected bike lane network. Without that, biking won't be safe and bikers will continue to be killed. If a couple parking spots have to be removed, that's fine with me. If you make biking a more attractive option, then gradually people will switch away from driving. In Paris and Amsterdam they moved aggressively to promote biking and it's been a big success. But people won't ever bike in large numbers until it's safe.

DavidWHattis 10 months ago

I don't like the peak bus/bike lanes - I don't trust cars to know what time it is. Make them 24/7 bike/bus lanes.

I don't think bump outs are a good longer-term idea based on how they've screwed up the bike lanes on Powderhouse Blvd. Once they're installed you can't put a bike lane all the way to side of the road.

I'd be happy with removing all parking along one side of Holland in order to put in bike lanes from Davis to Teele.

voter 10 months ago

This is certainly change in the right direction. I love the traffic calming features. But this final plan still does too much to prioritize personal vehicles over pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders. This is a very dense area and the bike lane should be fully protected along the entire route. Instead of a compromise that accommodates existing cyclists in Somerville to some extent without inconveniencing drivers of personal cars, we should think about how many more people would ride if our streets felt safer. If a child or an elderly person would not feel comfortable riding a bike on these roads, it's not safe enough.

Michael 10 months ago

Reviewing the final design, I'm really discouraged by the way the city has ignored so much community input asking for safety along this corridor. This plan is still prioritizing car and truck throughput and parking. Why did you ask for our input? This whole process has been really frustrating.

sgalaitsi 10 months ago

Thank you for all the work in trying to integrate the concerns of cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers in the Davis Sq area. I live on Walker Street, and have lived here for 12 years, and regularly walk down College Ave and Holland to reach the square for shopping, transit, or for a leisurely walk in the neighborhood. I have two main comments-- I support stronger traffic calming measures along College Avenue and for the creation of an uninterrupted and protected bike lane along College Ave and Holland.

I would love to see greater traffic calming measures along College Avenue. I was once nearly hit by a car turning into Chapel Street (I believe it was) from College Avenue. The car had stopped within a foot of me as I was crossing the street--I was in the middle of crossing, having stepped off the sidewalk before the car turned in. Cars also stop infrequently for pedestrians when I cross College Ave from one side of the street to the other along the cross walk near William Street.

I am also a mother to two young boys, one of whom is learning to ride a two wheel bicycle and traveling the neighborhoods on it. I would love for him to grow up in a space that encourages alternative modes of transportation to cars, where there is safe and clear access for him to move through the major through roads of his neighborhood without worrying about competing with car drivers or inattentive drivers of parked cars. I would love for him to grow up in a neighborhood that is safe for both walking and biking. To have safer streets in our neighborhood, I believe it is essential for the roads to be *shared* roads where car drivers begin to drive with the understanding that they are just one mode of transit in a densely lived neighborhood. To have this, I think it important to create protected bike lanes instead of paint-markers (of bike images) that encourage sharing but does not always happen or to have timed/temporary lanes for sharing. I think College Aveune is wide enough to accommodate a protected lane on at least one side of the avenue if not both. I realize it reduces parking, but I think this is a worthwhile sacrifice in the long run.

I also agree with the comments about creating a safer pedestrian way at the intersection of Holland and Winter Street-- often, the cars merging onto Holland come out too far into the crosswalk path and makes it feel unsafe.

thanks very much for your attention.

lyyu 10 months ago

While the project does increase bike infrastructure, I would say that it still misses the mark. Too much of the added bike lane runs along side temporary or permanent parking which both pushes cyclists further into the traffic lane and increases the chances of getting doored by a parked car. Neither of these are likely to encourage new cyclists in an area that really wants to be more ped / cyclist friendly. Please take another pass at this with more priority given to cyclists than motorists. Thank you.

SamK 10 months ago

Overall, a great effort working to accommodate so many uses of this ROW! A few thoughts:
- Love the # of ped crossing improvements but you're missing one: the pedestrian/bike crossing between the plaza and College Ave headhouse is always busy. It would be great to improve the crossing there for pedestrians, as well as carve out some additional accommodations for people who are trying to wheel from one section of the community path to the other.
- There needs to be better all ages and abilities connectivity for cyclists between Teele <> Davis and Powderhouse <> Davis, and this plan doesn't do the trick. I actually think the prioritization of these two ROWs in this final design is legitimate, however there should be low-stress alternatives for cyclists called out via wayfinding and calming. I would look to the Neighborways network in Central Somerville (alt to Highland) or the wayfinding between Inman and Central Sq in Cambridge (alt to Prospect & Columbia Sts.) as good precedents.

Thanks as always for your great work!

Somervoice235! 10 months ago

The proposed improved pedestrian crossings, protected bike lanes, and bus lanes are excellent. I am very concerned about the "bike lane + parking" areas. As a pedestrian, car driver, and cyclist living in Somerville I ask: Why is the city prioritizing parking of a couple of cars over the lives of cyclists? Dooring is a very dangerous and common occurrence enabled by bike lane + parking areas. Davis square is a vibrant community center, and is thus more distracting to drivers who might forget to look before opening their door. It makes sense to prioritize cars and trucks on Rte 93, why are we doing it in a square filled with small businesses? I hope the plan will be amended to make all bike lanes protected, except when necessary to allow for disabled parking.

BeckyK 10 months ago


Jumping onto this during my work hours because it is of absolute top importance: the community has spoken CLEARLY to show you that WE PREFER PROTECTED BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE. Please listen to us. I understand that there may be some pressure from car owners every time you remove parking spots, but please have faith that most people in the area are very emphatically behind you and have your back when you choose a future with fewer cars !

Your current proposed design gives far too much weight to these few car owners. Davis Sq. is a major transit hub and the future vision that a very great many of us share is one in which bikes and buses are afforded substantial preference on the roads. Please, on our behalf, make the choice that helps to realize this vision.

Juliana 10 months ago

Why does the city continue to prioritize cars over pedestrians and bicycles? The proximity school for this entire area is West Somerville Neighborhood School and it is IMPOSSIBLE to get there by foot or bicycle safely due to speeding cars and total lack of infrastructure.

Somerville is a dense, walkable city and the area in question is next to a majorly used subway line. The bus and bike lanes should be 24/7. We should be discouraging cars from driving through or parking in Davis Square and instead encouraging pedestrians, bicycles, and mass transit. It would make Davis Square safer and healthier - and discouraging cars is the only way we will ever get the climate crisis under control.

nfltm 10 months ago

Davis Square and the streets that feed into it are obvious places to maximize bike, pedestrian, and bus infrastructure. Please consider 24/7 bike and bus lanes on Holland and College. We are a small, dense city, and Davis--of all places--is not a place to maximize the throughput and parking of private cars.

maxwell.bridges 10 months ago

As a resident of West Somerville who frequently bikes this route (most often with elementary school kids on their own bikes), I'm so distressed that the city is wasting an opportunity to provide safe bicycle infrastructure for its residents -- once again, prioritizing parking and the cars of non-Somerville residents. Once again, the city seems to be punting, saying that this is not final, when we all know that it will stay this way for several years at least, and will discourage pedestrians and cyclists from really using these routes and feeling truly safe. Buses and bicycles cut WAY down on the traffic on these routes, but you never prioritize their movement! Truly a disappointment.

Thornton 10 months ago

I would love to see more parking removal and more permanent bus/bike lanes. I'd especially like to see a bike lane from Morrison up to William-- that's uphill, and getting overtaken by cars there is scary.
But this will still be much better than it is now.

pingswept 11 months ago
Page last updated: 22 May 2020, 17:10